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The Blond Knight Of Germany: a biography of... Erich Hartmann

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Publisher's Note: Products purchased from Third Party sellers are not guaranteed by the publisher for quality, authenticity, or access to any online entitlements included with the product. Publisher's Note: Products purchased from Third Party sellers are not guaranteed by the publisher for quality, authenticity, or access to any online entitlements included with the product.

30 review for The Blond Knight Of Germany: a biography of... Erich Hartmann

  1. 4 out of 5

    peiman-mir5 rezakhani

    دوستانِ گرانقدر، باید خودتان این کتاب را بخوانید تا درک کنید که خلبانِ بی نظیر و یک قهرمان و میهن پرست، به معنایِ واقعی یعنی چه فکر میکنم <اریش هارتمان>، این مردِ نخبه، بیشتر به افسانه شبیه بووده است تا واقعیت.. باور نکردنی و بسیار عالی یادش به عنوانِ یک میهن پرستِ کامل، همیشه زنده و گرامی باد

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ellie Midwood

    Erich Hartmann, the highest-scoring fighter ace in history, will always remain one of my favorite historical figures, and not only due to his incredible achievements in aerial combat but due to his personality and principles, which remained unchanged throughout his whole life, and which I admire greatly. Son of the parents who can definitely consider themselves citizens of the world, he was exposed to a contagious bug of freedom which hadn’t left him since. Learning the ropes of glider flying fr Erich Hartmann, the highest-scoring fighter ace in history, will always remain one of my favorite historical figures, and not only due to his incredible achievements in aerial combat but due to his personality and principles, which remained unchanged throughout his whole life, and which I admire greatly. Son of the parents who can definitely consider themselves citizens of the world, he was exposed to a contagious bug of freedom which hadn’t left him since. Learning the ropes of glider flying from his mother, he soon realized that flying was his passion and his second biggest love in life - after his faithful future wife Usch, of course, whom he met when both were still teenagers. He demonstrated skills in gunnery already in the flying school, but it was the Eastern front and one of his very first instructors, who taught him his future mantra of attack: observe-decide-attack-coffee break. The evolution of Erich Hartmann as a fighter pilot told from his own words, is wonderfully presented in this biography, followed by numerous successful accounts of his victories. What I also particularly enjoyed was the camaraderie of the JG-52 and their chivalrous treatment of their Soviet captives, which only demonstrates that one can remain human even in the most hellish situations. Numerous anecdotes dotted throughout the narration, including Heinz “Bimmel” Mertens (Hartmann’s faithful crew chief) and their joined antics, Walt “Graf Punski” Krupinski and his stunts, and even the infamous encounter with the Führer’s hat, not only made this biography even more interesting to read, but put a human face on their uneasy service on the Eastern front. The Soviet incarceration was probably the most difficult section of the book and I simply can’t imagine how a man could go through ten years of unlawful captivity and yet remain the same at heart - kind, incredibly honest, and a loving person who even later in his life didn’t condemn the whole Soviet nation but solely his NKVD captors for their stealing a decade of his life. A love story between him and his wife Ursula deserves a separate novel written about them, but I’ll just say that it’s probably due to her that he managed to survive the Soviet Gulags hell. Very well-written, thoroughly researched and approved by Hartmann himself, this official biography is certainly a must read for all WW2 buffs. Highly recommended!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Superb biography of the world's leading ace. Hartmann's career as the best of the best when it comes to fighter pilots will probably never be surpassed. Superb biography of the world's leading ace. Hartmann's career as the best of the best when it comes to fighter pilots will probably never be surpassed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bob Lee

    This is an excellent book about Erich Hartmann, the WWII German fighter Ace whose kills were all on the Eastern Front (from November 1942 thru end of the war). He had 352 confirmed aerial victories (the most of all time), and the appendix lists the date/time/location/enemy craft of each. It's an amazing read, with details of events of his life and exiting battle descriptions. It states that his method was to close in to basically point blank range (and he learned to get out of the way when his fi This is an excellent book about Erich Hartmann, the WWII German fighter Ace whose kills were all on the Eastern Front (from November 1942 thru end of the war). He had 352 confirmed aerial victories (the most of all time), and the appendix lists the date/time/location/enemy craft of each. It's an amazing read, with details of events of his life and exiting battle descriptions. It states that his method was to close in to basically point blank range (and he learned to get out of the way when his first kill's shrapnel brought down his own plane!). A very distressing section details the end of the war, when he refused to 'escape' in a plane to the west, and instead went with his men and civilians in a convoy, and got picked up by an American tank group that was too far East. The Americans turned them over to the Russians and the resulting horrific events were pretty stomach turning. He then spent over 10 years in a Russian gulag, eventually being released. It's an amazing story, and the book has lots of photos as well as sketches of all the types of planes described in the book. I highly recommend it. (This was my second time reading it).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hippo dari Hongkong

    waduh.. dapet rekomen dari jendral james neh selaku komandan pasukan para polkadot wajib baca neh tapi dimana nyarinya neh *garuk jenggot*

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hank Hoeft

    This is an excellent account of Erich Hartmann, the number one fighter pilot of all time, whose tally of kills totals an incredible 352 confirmed planes shot down. What I found the most interesting is the evolution of Harmann's tactics and doctrine on how to attack other airplanes in the sky. Hartmann's phenomenal score is the combined result of natural talents and skills, with his superior and intelligent method of attack (he eschewed dogfighting, preferring to watch and wait for the correct mo This is an excellent account of Erich Hartmann, the number one fighter pilot of all time, whose tally of kills totals an incredible 352 confirmed planes shot down. What I found the most interesting is the evolution of Harmann's tactics and doctrine on how to attack other airplanes in the sky. Hartmann's phenomenal score is the combined result of natural talents and skills, with his superior and intelligent method of attack (he eschewed dogfighting, preferring to watch and wait for the correct moment, approach from the best angle depending upon which type of plane he was attacking, and then wait to fire until he was very close). But the story of Hartmann's World War II career only takes up about half the book. Much of the rest of Hartmann's remarkable story concerns his excruciating eleven years as a prisoner in the Soviet Union after the end of the war. This account is as difficult to read as anything written by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn or David Remnick. The Blond Knight was published in 1970, at the height of the Cold War, and the tone of the book reflects this, as the majority of Harmann's flying was against Soviet aircraft, and his illegal incarceration was of course in Soviet Russia. The final (short) section of the book details Hartmann's challenges after he was finally released and then somewhat reluctantly returned to service in the West German Air Force. Hartmann's blunt and straightforward personality, in an organization that the authors portray as exceedingly political, caused Hartmann problems when he was unable and unwilling to compromise his judgement, especially in the decision by the West German government to equip their Air Force with the Lockheed F-104, which Hartmann warned against. (It turns out that Hartmann's caveats were all right on target, by the way). All in all, The Blond Knight of Germany is an excellent and complete account of the extraordinary life of a man who was extraordinary not just for shooting down more aircraft than anyone else in history, but for being a thoughtful, courageous, and humane human being.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pete

    The Blond Knight of Germany : A Biography of Erich Hartmann (1970) by Raymond Toliver and Trevor James Constable is an interesting biography of the highest scoring ace of all time. Erich Hartmann shot down a staggering 352 aircraft in WWII.  Hartmann was the son of a doctor and had an adventurous mother who was a glider pilot. Hartmann lived some of his early years in China as the family. He returned to Germany with his family and learnt to glide at a young age.  When WWII broke out he joined the The Blond Knight of Germany : A Biography of Erich Hartmann (1970) by Raymond Toliver and Trevor James Constable is an interesting biography of the highest scoring ace of all time. Erich Hartmann shot down a staggering 352 aircraft in WWII.  Hartmann was the son of a doctor and had an adventurous mother who was a glider pilot. Hartmann lived some of his early years in China as the family. He returned to Germany with his family and learnt to glide at a young age.  When WWII broke out he joined the Luftwaffe and got full fighter training. He was apparently an excellent shot. Hartmann then went to the East and learnt to fly in combat. It took him some time to get his first confirmed kills but after starting slowly he rapidly became an astonishing pilot. His tactics were to look and decide and then come in very close and fire when he could and otherwise to leave. He didn't like turning and being caught in dogfights. He fought in the East and used the Me109 for essentially his entire career.  After the war Hartmann fell into American hands in the Czech republic but was handed over to the Soviets and then spent a decade as a POW and later as a war criminal in the Soviet Union. Following his release he returned to West Germany and then joined the Luftwaffe again, this time flying jets and commanding a squadron.  Hartmann was clearly an incredible flyer. The book manages to bring some insight into his life and what made him so successful as a WWII pilot. For anyone interested in air combat history the book is well worth a read. 

  8. 4 out of 5

    Елвира

    Думи нямам за живота и качествата на този невероятен човек!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Bauer

    To anyone born and raised in America, the movies that we see show all members of the WWII German military solely as agents of evil. In particular the movies largely focus on stereotypical characters from the Gestapo and S.S. As a result, we tend to label all Germans or German military of the period as Nazis, with all that that implies as shown to us by Hollywood. Naturally, as I started to read this biography of a very decent German officer, I occasionally felt conflicted. In empathizing with th To anyone born and raised in America, the movies that we see show all members of the WWII German military solely as agents of evil. In particular the movies largely focus on stereotypical characters from the Gestapo and S.S. As a result, we tend to label all Germans or German military of the period as Nazis, with all that that implies as shown to us by Hollywood. Naturally, as I started to read this biography of a very decent German officer, I occasionally felt conflicted. In empathizing with the subject, I sometimes wondered if some Americans who haven't read the book might accuse me of being unpatriotic. Much of the book is hagiography. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the narrative immensely--found it very difficult to put down. I appreciated the overall perspective, as well as the picture of the relations among and the characterizations of the men in the Luftwaffe while deployed in combat zones. After all the thousands of movies about World War II, it is a relief to read something that shows members of the German military as three-dimensional, ordinary human beings. Also, of the ten years of Hartmann's imprisonment in Soviet labor camps, I appreciate that the author and Erich Hartmann made a point of showing the humanity of the ordinary Russian people who lived near the forced labor camps, as compared to the political operatives and psychopaths who ran the camps. The co-author of the book was an American military test pilot himself. The book was written for those interested in the military, in WWII, in aerial warfare, and especially fighter planes and pilots. The author make every scrupulous effort to show Erich Hartmann as a thoroughly professional military man. They avoid politics and social issues as much as possible. I accept it at face value that morale in the Luftwaffe throughout World War II was very good, in contrast to the morale of those who served on the ground on the Eastern front (It was likewise in the U.S. military during the Vietnam war, with abysmal morale in the infantry yet exceptionally high morale in the air force). The members of the Luftwaffe were entirely occupied with their own operations and not that aware of war conditions elsewhere. Erich Hartmann joined the Luftwaffe at 18 and completed training as a fighter pilot at 20. At such a young age, it would be unfair to expect him to have well-formed political beliefs. However, I wish the author had included information about the young Erich Hartmann's exposure and experiences regarding the politics and social conditions in Nazi Germany. The book refers to examples of many Germans, including in the military who did not believe in Nazism. Erich Hartmann's father had enormous influence on his son. From the beginning, Hartmann's father saw through the Nazi propaganda. He told his son in 1939 that Germany was going to lose the war, and he repeated it again to him in 1944. The authors present Erich Hartmann as being of the highest moral character, with the courage and strength to not compromise his beliefs even under the prolonged interrogations and inhuman conditions in the Soviet labor camp system. The author mentions in passing and without judgment that Erich Hartmann had been a member of Hitler Youth. But that was required of all German youth. Erich Hartmann does not appear to have been political in anyway. This is underscored by the fact that, after the war and after his release from the Soviet slave labor camp, that he did not join any of the German political parties, even though it would have been advantageous for him to do so career-wise. But I want to know if he had had any Jewish friends. Was he antisemitic? Was his father? Erich Hartmann must have been aware at some level of what the Nazi government was doing to the Jews and the other groups that his government was persecuting. Hartmann served all of his combat time on the Eastern front. Was he aware of the exterminations of Jews in those areas? What were Erich Hartmann's attitudes towards all that? What did Hartmann think about it after the war? As presented in the book, Hartmann had exemplary personal morals and character, better than my own, and without question better than most human beings. He committed no war crimes. As he stated many times to his Russian captors, he was simply a professional soldier fighting for his country. He never applied his conscience to make a judgment about whether the war was just. While reading this biography occasionally my feelings lash out in anger,that he gave material cooperation to intrinsic evil--to an unprovoked and unjust war by Germany that caused suffering and death to millions of innocent people. Perhaps his ten years in a Soviet forced labor camp should be considered just punishment--part of a communal justice imposed on the German people.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    The greatest fighter pilot in history by count, the cause he fought for was wrong but he was a patriot in the best sense. Incredible suffering after the war and then an ally against the USSR. What a journey.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Matthias

    Gute umfassende Biografie eines deutschen Jagdpiloten im zweiten Weltkrieg. Enthält jedoch viel zeitgenössische aber oberflächliche Kritik am Sowjet-System durch die Autoren. Durch die persönliche Freundschaft der Autoren zu Erich Hartmann fällt die Beschreibung auch etwas zu heroisch aus. Im Gegensatz zu Die Ersten und die Letzten werden viele Luftkämpfe detailreich beschrieben. Deswegen habe ich das Buch mit Interesse und Gewinn gelesen. Die Kritikpunkte gehen dabei unter. Gute umfassende Biografie eines deutschen Jagdpiloten im zweiten Weltkrieg. Enthält jedoch viel zeitgenössische aber oberflächliche Kritik am Sowjet-System durch die Autoren. Durch die persönliche Freundschaft der Autoren zu Erich Hartmann fällt die Beschreibung auch etwas zu heroisch aus. Im Gegensatz zu Die Ersten und die Letzten werden viele Luftkämpfe detailreich beschrieben. Deswegen habe ich das Buch mit Interesse und Gewinn gelesen. Die Kritikpunkte gehen dabei unter.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Deryk

    Great book and shed light on a part of WWII I never really think about, the German prisoners of the Soviet Union.

  13. 5 out of 5

    John

    An interesting biography of the highest scoring ace of WW2. The info was fine, the writing could be better.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kyle "Mengele" Hellman

    An excellent story, well written, and mostly unbiased. Finding any literature about the Third Reich that isn't a complete propaganda smear piece is rare. I like it. An excellent story, well written, and mostly unbiased. Finding any literature about the Third Reich that isn't a complete propaganda smear piece is rare. I like it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    David

    Maybe 2.5 stars. Biography of Erich Hartmann, the highest-scoring fighter pilot ever (352 kills). Interesting but not well written. Good photos.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jahn

    Really enjoyed reading this. I personally haven't found that many books that really cover much about the Axis during WWII like this particular book. Very interesting to read about the top scoring ace of all time- the strategies he employed, the personalities he encountered, and his various experiences during the war and afterward. I think this book really demonstrates something that people sometimes forget- most German soldier weren't die-hard Nazis (recall that it was pretty much to only politi Really enjoyed reading this. I personally haven't found that many books that really cover much about the Axis during WWII like this particular book. Very interesting to read about the top scoring ace of all time- the strategies he employed, the personalities he encountered, and his various experiences during the war and afterward. I think this book really demonstrates something that people sometimes forget- most German soldier weren't die-hard Nazis (recall that it was pretty much to only political party with which people could affiliate, and many people were attracted to the party due to the perception that a Nazi government could improve conditions in Germany and restore them their national pride), many were patriots who were serving their country, and came to be valuable assets and allies against the USSR. The picture it paints of the air war on the Eastern Front is also interesting, as there were unique struggles that couldn't be encountered in any other theater. I think there is a perception that the USSR's main advantage was sheer numbers, which is partly true, but that viewpoint downplays the fact there still many, many skilled pilots in the Soviet air force, and even if that were not the case, the heavily armed and armored Soviet aircraft weren't necessarily sitting ducks that just any pilot could encounter mission after mission and live to become an ace. Highly recommend it- the detail of the war on the Eastern Front is fascinating and the life of Erich Hartmann is even more so in my opinion.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    The story of the greatest fighter pilot to ever live! He served on a side fighting for a highly immoral cause, but he was a very young boy who simply thought he was defending his country against communism. Hartmann committed zero war crimes and even disobeyed orders by releasing Soviet POWs, rather than turn them over to the SS to be murdered. Hartmann proved his incredible skills on both the Eastern and Western fronts by shooting down 350 allied planes and once fighting 5 P-51 Mustangs and shoo The story of the greatest fighter pilot to ever live! He served on a side fighting for a highly immoral cause, but he was a very young boy who simply thought he was defending his country against communism. Hartmann committed zero war crimes and even disobeyed orders by releasing Soviet POWs, rather than turn them over to the SS to be murdered. Hartmann proved his incredible skills on both the Eastern and Western fronts by shooting down 350 allied planes and once fighting 5 P-51 Mustangs and shooting them all down himself. Hartmann was wrongfully imprisoned in a Soviet Gulag for a decade, but refused to accept communism even under threat of death. He also never accepted the Nazi dogma of racism against the Soviets and had surprisingly warm comments about the Soviet people. Hartmann became a major leader of the West German Luftwaffe after the war and leaves us with this comment: "Hatred and bigotry destroyed my nation, and millions died... Never hate, it only eats you alive. Keep an open mind and always look for the good in people. You may be surprised at what you find.” He was was both one of history's most ferocious warriors and also an honorable man.

  18. 4 out of 5

    David

    This book contains many different stories that revolve around Erich Hartmann. The environment around Germany prior to and during this time. An appreciation of what it was like to be a pilot. The relationship between the German pilots and the kind of people they were. It also provides the one aspect that is important to all humans and that is family.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Larry

    A brilliant read about the Worlds top scoring fighter ace. it is highly unlikely that anyone will be able to match 352 confirmed aerial victories unless in another protracted war, though recent wars have shown a certain reluctance to pit man versus man. A fascinating story of life in crazy times and a man able to overcome losing 10years of his life to Russian labour camps.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tim Grevis-james

    A fascinating and compelling account of Hartmann's combat prowess, but delves more significantly into his decade long imprisonment and psychological battle with his Russian captors. An amazing portrayal of resistance, a wonderfully written book by Raymond Toliver. A fascinating and compelling account of Hartmann's combat prowess, but delves more significantly into his decade long imprisonment and psychological battle with his Russian captors. An amazing portrayal of resistance, a wonderfully written book by Raymond Toliver.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rex

    Good examples for winning strategies.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Barnes

    Excellent - a resilient individual

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mike Wigal

    Probably as good an account of fighter ops (German ops in particular) on the Eastern front as you'll ever read. Probably as good an account of fighter ops (German ops in particular) on the Eastern front as you'll ever read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Charles

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jarda A Somers

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jan Mulders

  27. 5 out of 5

    John

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dgldover

  29. 4 out of 5

    Igor

  30. 5 out of 5

    Josh Ruiter

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